Introducing Cereal Sommelier, my new podcast

I’ve got a new podcast about cartoons and cereal. It’s a dumb as you think.

csAbout a year ago I got an idea for a podcast while vacuuming the library at Nauset Regional High School. As usual, I was listening to The Twilight Pwn. It was a great show about The Twilight Zone that featured two hosts, John and Fred. The pair reviewed the landmark TV series one episode at a time. The were funny and smart, and they made a show that was entertaining as well as informative. The “Inevitable MST3K Connection” was a favorite segment, as well as running gags about Robby the Robot and the dreaded “Inflation Calculation” jingle.

At this time Home Work had ended and I was playing with doing something completely different. Maybe I’d do a panel show about something that I loved. I had a lot of lousy ideas*:

  • My favorite Sandwiches
  • The history of the napkin
  • Interviews with random people I admire

Later I was inspired by Scott McNulty’s Random Trek (which I love), in which Scott and a guest review a randomly-selected episode of Trek from the show’s vast history. I played with the idea of doing the same for The Twilight Zone, but really, John and Fred (and others) have that covered.

Finally, I had the worst idea of all. It’s the one I went with.

A guest and I would review a randomly-chosen episode of a Saturday Morning cartoon from the 1970’s and ‘80s. There would be two types of episodes: the odd-numbered ones introduce the guest and the episode that we’d review in the even-numbered episodes. I’d provide a link pointing to where the ep. could be watched online.

Finally, the “cereal sommelier” would pair the perfect sugar cereal with that week’s selection, in a bit of tongue-in-cheek nonsense that lent itself to a very clever name.

Thus, Cereal Sommelier was born.

Episode one is now available. In it, I set up the show, and reveal next week’s cartoon, cereal selection and guest. I sincerely hope you enjoy it and tell your friends.

After nearly five years of discussing working from home and productivity, I’m thrilled to have a show about nostalgia, fun and utter nonsense. Listen, subscribe and share. Yay!

Big thanks to Iconfactory’s Ged Maheux for the stunning logo, and to Hologram Radio for hosting.

*Not made up. These were real ideas.

The future Home Work

The Home Work podcast is about to change again, starting with weekly “Lunch Breaks.”

cover_quarterFour years ago Aaron came to me with an idea for a podcast about working from home. We produced an episode, the show went to 70 Decibels and then to 5by5. Today, after four years and 204 episodes, Aaron has left the show.

It’s a shame to see him go, as he’s a talented podcaster and he brought a lot to the show. I wish him well in his endeavors.

Talk live with me and other home workers

What does that mean for the podcast? It will continue with changes. Right now we’re on a four-week break between season two and season three. But that doesn’t mean you won’t hear from me.

This Friday, April 15, I’ll hold the first weekly “Lunch Break,” which will be a live, 30-minute chat with me on Blab, starting at 12:00 PM Eastern. If you haven’t used Blab before, it’s really cool. Join me to talk with like-minded home workers, ask questions, share advice and so on. It’s going to be great and I’m looking forward to talking with you face-to-face.

Season three of Home Work is also under production and this time the theme is back to basics: “How to successfully work from home.” The ten-episode season will feature more amazing guests (season two featured appearance by Merlin Mann, David Sparks, Mike Vardy, Kelly Guimont, Beth Dunn, Brett Kelly, Moisés Chiullán, Patrick Rhone, Mike Schmitz and Michael Drucker) talking about specific aspects of being the most successful home worker you can be.

Best of Season One Ebook

Also in the works is a “Best of Home Work Season One” ebook, which will feature the absolute top advice and insights gleaned from our show’s first season across several topics:

  1. Work spaces
  2. Assembling a team
  3. Distraction
  4. Equipment, apps and tools
  5. Productivity
  6. Dealing with time off
  7. Email
  8. Priorities
  9. Tips for telecommuters
  10. Tips for freelancers
  11. Client work

I’m combing through each episode now to find the best bits.

Home Work is evolving and I want to thank everyone who listens to the show. A podcast that has survived four years is nothing to sneeze at. I’m very eager for season three and I’ll talk you all on Friday.

Congratulations to We’re Alive on 100 episodes

We’re Alive is my favorite podcast. Hands down. The (almost) weekly serial is about a group of mismatched people trying to survive a zombie infestation. I know, you’ve heard it a million times. But not like this.

Creator and writer KC Wayland is weaving a compelling story with real, believable characters I actually care about. The story is presented as an audio drama and the production is fantastic. Not only the acting and foley work, but the details. It’s clear that the team does its research into military procedure, the geography in and around Los Angeles and so on.

There are characters I cheer for, others I loathe and a few whose allegiance is unclear. They’re often the most compelling  I look forward to a new episode every Monday.

The show has just celebrated its 100th episode with the release of a re-designed site and an iOS app.  KC also announced that a book is in the works, “Burt’s Story,” which details the backstory of my favorite character. I can’t wait to buy it (Burt is the best, baby!).

We’re Alive has been downloaded 12 million times, and I see why. Subscribe if you haven’t, but start from season one, episode one or you’ll be lost. Finally, check out these (spoiler-heavy) promo photos they shot, 1 based on characters and situations from the podcast. Freaking sweet.

  1. That’s Burt in the photo above, ready to kick some ass with “Shirley,” his .50 Desert Eagle.

52 Pickup: Postcards from Camp teaser

There are many opposing groups and subcultures in America. Democrats and Republicans. Red Sox fans and Yankees fans. Coke drinkers and Pepsi drinkers.

Camp people and non-camp people.

I was raised as a non-camp person. That doesn’t mean I never went camping. My family spent one miserable weekend in a state park when I was very young, and as a teenager I attended week-long basketball camp. But I didn’t come back with the undying love of camp culture that infects so many. Today, I’m on the fence. I’d love to be a camp person; they seem so confident and capable, both physically and socially.

This weekend, my 7-year-old and I are going camping. With the Cub Scouts. Overnight, probably in the rain.

Next Monday’s episode of 52 Pickup, my podcast for members, will chronicle the trip. Here’s a teaser. Members will get the full episode in few days.

52 Pickup ep. 29 – Modern-Day Friendships

52 Pickup is my members-only podcast. Episode 29 represents a major revision of the show. Consider it “52 Pickup 2.0.” I’ve made it available here for everyone to listen to, members and non-members alike. If you enjoy it, become a member and get another episode like it every week. I’d appreciate it greatly.

Last week, I read an interesting article in The New York Times by Sherry Turkle. Sherry is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. The article, entitled “The Flight From Conversation,” explores the idea that we as a society have abandoned conversation for connection:

“Human relationships are rich; they’re messy and demanding. We have learned the habit of cleaning them up with technology. And the move from conversation to connection is part of this. But it’s a process in which we shortchange ourselves. Worse, it seems that over time we stop caring, we forget that there is a difference.”

It’s a compelling topic, especially as a person who spends a lot of time using online social tools to communicate with many far-flung friends. In this episode, I explore the idea of technology, social tools, conversation and modern-day, connected friendships.

Patrick Rhone of Minimal Mac and Ged Meheux of The Iconfactory share their thoughts as well.

Transcript: Here

Additional reading:

The Flight From Conversation
Sherry Turkle speaking at TED
The iPhone, an Automobile For Your Mind
Shawn Blanc on the iPhone as an automobile for the mind
What do very happy people all have in common?